A Case study of Emma Rhodes, Halesowen

1.Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have a fantastic husband, Phil, who has been a great support and given me lots of encouragement to set up my business with Music Bugs. We have a daughter Ellee who is 18 months old who was very much the driving force behind the decision to work for myself. We also have the worlds grumpiest cat Polly, but home wouldn’t be home without her.

2. What did you do before joining Music Bugs?

Before joining Music Bugs, I was a teacher for 6 years. Teaching was all I have ever wanted to do as I love spending time with children and I enjoyed the teaching element of my job. I worked across the primary school range from Nursery to Year 6, but working with the very young children was particularly enjoyable.

3. What attracted you to Music Bugs?

I was fairly certain my daughter would enjoy the classes and soon realised that I enjoyed the classes with her. That set the wheels in motion and I set about looking at running my own classes. When I looked in more detail at the business opportunity, I got a strong feeling that Music Bugs would provide me with all the support I would need to make my business succeed. Claire, our Managing Director is fantastic and I knew I would be able to work with her. I was attracted to the relaxed nature of the classes and it was evident how much enjoyment children and their parents have with the classes.

4. Did you consider other franchise opportunities?

I looked at lots of different companies, but nothing particularly stood out for one reason or another. I’m glad I carried on with my research as I know I have chosen the company and opportunity that is right for me.

5. What territory do you cover?

I cover a fairly large area, from Halesowen to Bridgenorth, down to Tenbury Wells and across to the village of Holt Heath.

6. What training and support have you received to establish your franchise?

I met an established franchisee in Rugby to get an inside view of the business, the classes and gain a real sense of what is required to run your own franchise opportunity with Music Bugs. We are both from a teaching background which helped me envisage what it would mean for me to run my own business. I attended a Discovery Day after this meeting which was fantastic and really helpful and it was great to sit down with Claire and find out more about the business. I followed the Discovery Day with a 3 day training programme which gave me all the tools I needed to get my business up and running. I receive a lot of support from Head Office which is always available if I need assistance with anything and the PR support we receive is really helpful.

7. What future plans do you have for your business?

I am really looking forward to running classes from my new venues and plan to deliver more birthday parties in the future. I am in the process of employing my first Class Leader who will be helping me expand the business with more classes and it will also enable me to spend more time on marketing and branding activities. I am currently working with local schools to look at how I can deliver after school activities for Early Years Children and I also work with BLISS on a bi-monthly basis who are a charitable organisation providing much needed care and support for premature and sick children. For the last 3 years we have also had a large presence at Himley Hall under 5’s day demonstrating our classes to hundreds of local families.

8. What do you enjoy most about being your own boss?

I love what I’m doing which is always a bonus and a definite plus of being my own boss and managing my own career. I enjoy the freedom I now have of choosing the hours I work which is a world away from my teaching days where I often had to work in the evening to meet all the various deadlines I was faced with. Now I am happy to put the computer away for an hour and play with my daughter. My husband and I have already felt the difference in our lives and I don’t have the stress in my life that I had previously. I make the decisions about my professional life now and as a family, we are all benefiting from this.

9. And finally, what was your favourite nursery rhyme when you were a child?

Humpty Dumpty. I felt sorry for him and I loved all the different silly versions of the story, especially when he ended up as scrambled egg.

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